Friday marks the 13th anniversary of the terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, carried out by ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in the country’s financial capital. Terrorists struck crowded areas throughout the city, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Hotel Trident, Nariman House, Leopold Cafe, and Cama Hospital, among others.

What happened? Who did it?

The National Security Guard (NSG) and Mumbai Police shot and killed nine terrorists, killing a total of 166 persons, including security officers. Ajmal Kasab, the sole terrorist apprehended alive, was found guilty and condemned to death. Kasab was hanged on November 21, 2012, five days before the four-day assaults’ fourth anniversary.

On November 26, ten Lashkar militants approached by motorboat in Mumbai from Karachi. Late in the evening, the first reports from the city begin to arrive. Despite initial reports of a “gang war,” it quickly becomes clear that this is a terrorist attack. 

Four terrorists enter the Taj, two into the Trident, and two more into the Nariman House. The remaining two, including Kasab, open fire on the CSMT, killing 58 people and injuring over 100 more. Kasab and his companion, Ismail Khan, then proceed to the Cama Hospital. They intercept and kill six police officials along the route, notably then-ATS head Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, and Ashok Kamte.

The pair then flee in the officers’ jeep but are apprehended by Mumbai Police. Khan is killed in the ensuing brawl, while Kasab is arrested. Tukaram Ombale, a police officer, is slain in the course of his duties.

November 27: Army forces and Marine commandos surround the hostage-taking locations, the Taj Mahal, Trident, and Nariman House. The elite NSG, who have been dispatched to raid the locations, commenced Operation Black Tornado.

November 28: Commandos complete the operation at the Trident and Nariman House.

November 29– The NSG secures the Taj, bringing the assaults to a close.

The attacks prompted a wave of resignations, including that of the-Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

The impact of it ( political, economic, and societal)

High-security risks not only hurt return on investment but also have the potential for capital loss. The Mumbai attacks occurred during a period of global economic stress, and India could have strengthened its position to increase capital inflows. The reality, however, was quite different, with India’s absolute percentage of growth dropping by nearly two points after that day. The stock market, too, fell after November 26th, indicating a loss of investor confidence. The attacks influenced the S&P BSE Sensex to reopen 1.5 percent, or 137 points, lower the next day. While the stock market fell, India saw $159 million in foreign institutional investors come in through stocks and bonds in an attempt to profit from the market’s bearish trend. The following month, December, saw a higher inflow of $589 million into investments, all of which were designed for short-term gains rather than long-term gains.

An assault like 26/11 has a significant impact on the cost of conducting business in the home nation, resulting in a snowball effect that can take a long time to manage. The cost of securing critical installations, commercial security expenditures, the cost of building new infrastructure, purchasing insurance, and other factors all demonstrate a consistent and ever-increasing rising trend.

We may have put out the fire a half-decade later, but the chars must still be picked up. Those few days taught us how a terrorist attack can have a broad economic impact and set back a progressive growth model. Most importantly, it taught us how the government must shake hands with businesses to provide the world with the confidence that 26/11 will never happen again.

What immediate actions were taken?

A variety of informal conversations and meetings in government took place during and after the assault to determine our reactions. MK Narayanan, the then-national security adviser, convened a meeting with the political leadership to discuss our military and other kinetic options, and the military commanders presented their opinions to the prime minister. As foreign secretary, I regarded my job as analyzing the external and other ramifications, and I pushed both External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to react, and be perceived to retaliate, to discourage such assaults and to alleviate the popular feeling.

How does the nation react to it?

The Mumbai terrorist attacks exposed inadequacies in India’s security structure when it came to dealing with this “new brand” of terrorism—urban warfare characterized by symbolic strikes, multiple targets, and high casualties. investigations, it was revealed that many intelligence warnings from Indian and US sources had preceded the assaults, but that officials had rejected them due to a lack of “actionable intelligence.” Nevertheless, it took an exceptionally long time for India’s elite National Security Guards to arrive at the besieged hotels, with commandos arriving 10 hours after the opening gunshot on November 26. The early crisis response was further hampered by a lack of coordination between authorities in New Delhi, India’s capital, and officials in Maharashtra, Maharashtra’s state capital. Shivraj Patil, India’s interior minister, resigned on November 30, 2008, citing “moral responsibility” for the assaults after being widely reprimanded amid the deaths.

Conclusion

No terrorist should be permitted to alter our behavior in the dark, with our neighbors, or with ourselves. No one act of violence should have the ability to obliterate the connectivity of our experiences, our multiple solidarities. That is the serious pledge we must solemnly repeat to ourselves thirteen years later, on November 26th, when we glimpse the first rays of hope following the awful pandemic in which many of our loved ones perished.

Aditi Tripathi

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